A little over 10 years ago I had just turned 30 and life was good. I had it all, great house, perfect husband, 3 adorable children and a large family network.

A year later started the worst time of my life so far. Within 9 months I had lost 3 grandparents and we were having huge marital problems.
I held it together, with dignity (most of the time) for the sake of my children.
We moved to a new house and started getting things back on track but 6 months later I lost my dad to suicide; My world was shattered. He was my hero, my rock and the person I turned to for advice at every point of my life. I don’t remember much about that time; the children are what got me up every morning and kept me going until bedtime.

A few months after my dad died our landlord made us homeless. We had a temporary house for a few months then we spent 9 months living with my mum, without her we would have been in a hostel or worse as we had nowhere else to go. Finally we were offered a house, it was out of the area we lived in and would mean that the children would have to change schools, but we looked at it as a fresh start, away from some of the bad memories and we settled for a little while. I got a job and things were good again until I fell ill and didn’t recover. I was diagnosed with M.E in 2014, not able to work or socialise like before I began to feel isolated and still too close to bad memories. We made the decision to move further away, looking back it was one of the best decisions we ever made.

It’s been hard, I spent the first year battling anxiety and hardly leaving the house, but I finally plucked up the courage to work through my grief. I found an amazing place called Designs in Mind, my GP referred me and starting to go to sessions saved my life. Talking to people that have had a similar experience and realising that you’re not alone is so powerful. Working on
projects, being a valued member of the team and having a purpose has really improved my confidence.

Last September I started doing a few hours of social media for the Jolt shop. I have since transitioned into a full staff member and have taken on more hours and responsibility.

I never thought I would have a job again, my illness is still as bad, I have just learned to manage it a little better.
If the past 10 years have taught me anything it’s that life is sometimes really tough, but thankfully so am I.